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10th installment of the popular rpg franchise from Square

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One of the Finest Fantasy Games Out There

  • Dec 13, 2008
  • by

+Fantastic graphics and art design
+One of the most beautiful soundtracks
+Deep engrossing story
+Tons of mini-games and sidequests to undertake
+Simple, yet complex, battle system


-The voice acting is sometimes laughable

Fans will be in debate over what is the best Final Fantasy for years.  One of the games that is commonly stated to be the best of the series is Final Fantasy X.  The game manages to combine the best of storytelling and humanity with gameplay elements that make for what is one of the most mature games ever made that you never want to end.

Final Fantasy X begins, quite literally, with a bang.  Tidus is a star Blitzball player of the Zanarkand Abes.  His fame shows as there are several fans waiting outside his home who want an autograph.  He is also the son of the legendary Blitzball player Jecht.  In the middle of a Blitzball game, the city of Zanarkand is attacked by a force only known as Sin.  By a twist of fate, Tidus is taken from his home city and is thrust 1000 years into the future where Sin has caused a lot of havoc and a religion of Yevon has taken over the world.  He soon meets Yuna, a summoner who is given the task of destroying Sin.  Tidus teams up with Yuna and her guardians to help her through her pilgrimage.  As the journey goes on, Tidus learns much about himself and about his own past, just as Yuna will.

Final Fantasy X is easily one of the best produced games in the series.  The situations that the characters get themselves into and the emotional attachment they have to each other is what drives the story forward.  The story is endearing and the game has easily one of the best cast of characters a Final Fantasy game has ever had.  The story hits incredible emotional highs.  The only thing that keeps the story from being incredibly engrossing is some of the voice acting, some of which can be laughably bad at times.  For the most part, however, it's a well written story and there are moments when the voice acting works wonders. 

Final Fantasy X is also the first game in a long time to do away with the classic ATB battle system.  In fact, Final Fantasy X does away with several standards the Final Fantasy games (and to an extent the RPG genre) held dear.  The battle system in Final Fantasy X is now a CTB battle system.  This means control turn based.  It plays out exactly like a turn based RPG.  The only real difference is that you can see when every character will attack.  This isn't a suggested order, it's an exact order.  So the game takes into account casting spells that may slow a character down or speed them up.  It's a very easy battle system to learn. 

The CTB battle system might be incredibly simplistic if you count out Final Fantasy X's sphere grid.  The sphere grid is a grid that is populated with abilities and statistical enhancements such as HP, MP, Strength and Defense improvements.  Rather than simply giving you levels, Final Fantasy gives you Sphere Levels.  Each time you gain a sphere level you can move one space on the sphere grid and if you have the corresponding sphere to the stat enhancement or ability, you can place it in and learn it.  So, for example, a power sphere can be used to enhance strength and HP when you come across strength or HP nodes within the grid.  An ability sphere lets you learn spells and abilities should you come across them on the grid.  You can also fill in empty nodes with special spheres like HP and MP spheres and then fill them with a strength sphere.  At first the system is very confusing but it is easily one of the Final Fantasy X's best attributes.  Each character starts off at a different location on the grid.  It makes it so that not every character will be the same. 

Likewise, there are other little things that help the battle system out.  Each character has their own strengths in battle.  Wakka, the blitzball player has a ball which he can throw and hit flying enemies with pin-point accuracy while most of your other characters will miss.  Lulu's black magic helps against specific enemies that are not vulnerable to physical attacks.  Auron can pierce through any enemy's defense while Tidus can hit nimble land enemies and Rikku can dissassemble machines.  The most unique of all these characters, however, is Yuna who can summon her Aeons.  When she does summon a creature, you can take control of it and use their own abilities. 

Then there are overdrives.  These are similar to Final Fantasy VII's limi breaks.  As your characters take damage a gauge below their name fills up.  When it's full, you can perform overlimits which are incredibly devastating attacks that often take your enemies down with ease.  In addition to overlimits you can also score an overkill by finishing off an enemy by doing an incredibly large amount of damage.  Overkills give you more Ability Points which you'll need to gain more skill levels.

For a game that has such a simple battle system, it's surprisingly complex.  When you're not battling, Final Fantasy X has a few bonuses you can partake in.  The most notable of which is blitzball.  At some point you'll be forced to play it, but at some point it becomes optional.  It seems like a simple mini-game but it could easily be its own game.  You have a chance to win a lot of interesting prizes including a few secret items needed to unlock some of Final Fantasy X's more lucrative secrets.  There are more mini-games besides Blitzball but most of them are very annoying and frustrating.  But you'll have to do them in order to get some of the game's best items.  On the other hand the optional Aeons and bosses are fun to battle against.  There's even a monster arena in which you'll have to capture monsters.  This eventually becomes home to several optional bosses, most of which will test your might. 

With all its complexities, Final Fantasy X is by no means a hard game.  At most it might take you 40 hours to complete Final Fantasy X, if you intend to conquer just the story.  But it certainly isn't a challenging 40 hours.  It's a pretty simple game and it's a very straightforward one.  With the exception of Blitzball, most of the mini-games you'll play and sidequests you'll embark on are not available until you're very close to the end of the game.  The game is incredibly linear.  There's no world map to explore and even when you get the airship at the end, you can manually fly the skies.  It was a risk for Square to move Final Fantasy X is this direction, but the story and gameplay are so aborbing you don't even mind.  Once you get to the end and you've got the whole world at your feet, it's still incredibly fun to explore.

Even by todays standards, Final Fantasy X is incredible to look at.  It runs very smoothly and has some beautiful cutscenes.  Of special note is the games artistic design.  The world of Spira comes alive unlike any other game in the Final Fantasy series.  It has incredible art design.  The music is also among the best in the series--maybe even in gaming.  It's very melodic and dramatic.  The music fills every situation.  The only thing about the production values that needs work is the voice acting.  Sometimes it's strong, but as I said earlier, there are times when it's laughably bad.  Luckily, the laughably bad moments are few and far between. 

If there's one Final Fantasy just about every Final Fantasy fan should play, it ought to be Final Fantasy X.  It has an engrossing story with endearing characters.  It is a Final Fantasy experience everyone should take part in at least once, and remember it for many years to come. 

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February 22, 2010
ha-ha! I got so hooked on FF that I collected all the figures of the major series. nice one.
April 06, 2009
Great review - and I have to agree, the voice acting in this game is the worst. You just learn to ignore it, I suppose.
February 06, 2009
I haven't played Fantasy since middle school. Perhaps I'll be pretty impressed with this new one that you've reviewed. It seems like many people are agreeing with the good things you've said about it. Thanks!
More Final Fantasy X reviews
Quick Tip by . February 23, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
The cast of characters in this game range from mediocre to terrible. This was the only game where the main character was so annoying that I had to shut off the game for awhile, and revisit weeks later. Character development was especially lacking. I'm probably just throwing a minor hissy fit because I hated Tidus so much. So. So. Much. I'm also one of the few people that dislike Auron - although, that's mostly because he enables Tidus to talk all the time.      Anyway, …
Quick Tip by . February 22, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
(So tired of writing these Quick Tips) Since the Dreamcast held me back from getting a PS2, I didn't play this in its heyday. But what it did shamelessly well when I finally did get my hands on it was blow me away with its graphics to a level I'd not experienced since FFVII. However, the characters, story, and gameplay didn't particularly stand out against the previous FFs I had played. The voice dubbing was also surprisingly awful at times. But I say these things with perspective, back then everything …
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
A game with great gameplay mechanics and some hardcore boss fights but kind of a silly story. Started out good but wow after a while I couldn't take it seriously anymore. Regardless a good enough game but the story really left me frustrated.
Quick Tip by . February 21, 2011
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Probably my favorite FF of all time. The interactions and relationships between the cast is beautifully made and I never thought of: "man that's boring, when is the cutscene over so I can go back to playing"   It's a big world full of great events, the good old love relationship, and the good old apocalypse super monster that wants to destroy the whole world. The gameplay is easy to learn you have three members in your main party, but can switch them whenever you want …
Quick Tip by . September 26, 2010
Took FF VIII's problems and ramped them up with annoying characters, bizzare character models and a too futurey look that makes me think it would have been better off just being it's own game and not Final Fantasy.
review by . August 19, 2008
In terms of storyline, I would say this was one of the best in the series.  I felt part 9 was a bit childish and you didn't care much for the main character.  FFX was the total opposite because you get more involved in the story and the main character was more "likeable".  He's your typical youngster with a cool hairstyle, like most final fantasy games.  Its your typical storyline of a group of people joining up to defeat the main evil like all the other final fantasies.  …
review by . October 05, 2008
posted in Siliconera Bounce
Pros: A theme about religion and people who question it is involved     Cons: I can't believe a designer can create such weak characters     The Bottom Line: Nothing to say here today.     Remember how Square created two Final Fantasies in sci-fi settings for the Playstation before returning to form with Final Fantasy IX, a game set in an actual fantasy world? Well, turns out that return to form was just a hiccup.     After …
review by . August 07, 2002
I think I was more moved by this game than any film or game. I will carry the memory of Final Fantasy X's story with me forever.That story which affected me so strongly follows the brash blitzball player Tidus, who is thrust into a future world besieged by an enigmatic monster called Sin. This new epoch is dominated by the religious dogma of Yevon, which teaches that Sin is sent as punishment for the use of technology. Against Sin are the summoners, powerful magic-users who can call upon divine …
About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game


Final Fantasy X is a console role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix), and the tenth installment in the Final Fantasy series. It was released in 2001 for Sony's PlayStation 2. As of January 20, 2004, the game has sold around 6.6 million units worldwide and was also voted by the readers of the Japanese video game magazine Famitsu to be the greatest video game of all-time. Set in the fantasy world of Spira, the game's story centers around a group of adventurers and their quest to defeat a rampaging force known as "Sin".

Final Fantasy X marks the Final Fantasy series' transition from entirely pre-rendered backdrops to fully three-dimensional areas, achieved with the PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine processor. Although pre-rendered backgrounds are not entirely absent, their use has been restricted to less vibrant locations, such as building interiors. Final Fantasy X is also the first game in the series to feature a wide range of realistic facial expressions, as well as other technological developments in graphical effects achieved, such as variance in lighting and shadow from one section of a character's clothing to the next. Final Fantasy X is also the first in the series to feature voice-over actors.

Final Fantasy X introduces other significant advances in the Final Fantasy series. For instance, because of the implementation of voice-overs, scenes in the game are paced according to the time taken for dialogue to be ...

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Games, Video Games, Fantasy, Gaming, Final Fantasy, Ffx, Ff10, Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy 10


ESRB: T - (Teen)
Number of Players: 1
Publisher: EA - Electronic Arts
Console: Playstation 2
Genre: RPG
Release Date: 31 December, 2001
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